Russian Vowels If you want to speak Russian language, the first step is to learn the phonetic sounds of Russian vowels. Unlike many people think, it is relatively easy compared to other languages.

Russian language has 10 vowels which are divided in “Hard vowels” and “Soft vowels”.

Soft Vowels

Vowel Pronunciation
я “ya” in yard
е “ye” in yet
и “ee” in meet
ё “yau” in yawn
ю Like the word “you”

Sample sentences:
  • My cat died yesterday      –> (English)
  • Мой кот умер вчера     –> (Russian)
  • Moĭ kot umer vchera       –>  (Pronunciation)

Hard Vowels

Vowel Pronunciation
а “a” in father
э “e” in let
ы a short “i”, “i” in milk
о “aw” in law
у oo” in food

Sample sentences:
  • My mother travels to China      –> (English)
  • Моя мать едет в Китай.     –> (Russian)
  • Moya matʹ yedet v Kitaĭ            –>  (Pronunciation)


In addition to the 10 vowels, there is a semivowel “й”:
Vowel Pronunciation
й “y” as in Bay

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